Mar 21, 2023

An Abraham Lincoln Quote is to be changed.


    The quote leaves out millions of women and their families...though it was accurate when Lincoln said it n March 4, 1865 during his second inaugural  address. 

     It is now unfair.

The previous VA Director would have none of it:

"I'm not arrogant enough to say I want to change Abraham Lincoln's words," Robert Wilkie told the House Veterans Affairs Committee during a hearing.

The sign with the  Department of Veterans Affairs motto is seen in Washington, D.C. 

     Nonetheless, the VA is finally going to change it to reflect all members of service and their families.

     The website says the change official announcement will be later this week:

(VA Secretary Denis)  "McDonough is expected to officially unveil the new motto at 1 p.m.  (Central) Thursday at the Military Women's Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. It will be livestreamed.

Veterans, veteran survivors and caregivers are expected to speak at the event, including Army veteran Mary Tobin, a West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran."


Best Places To Work: Health Care Companies in Alabama

 Two Alabama Health Care Related Companies listed as Best Work Places by Beckers Health Care

UAB Medicine (Birmingham). UAB Medicine has 19,000 employees who treat 1.6 million patients annually. The system is the largest single-site employer in Alabama and has a reputation of attracting top talent to serve the Birmingham community. Forbes named UAB Medicine among the top large employers in the country in 2021 and the system has integrated diversity, equity and inclusion into its mission. UAB Medicine has employee resource groups for women, young professionals, veterans, LGBTQ healthcare equity and people with disabilities. To retain talent, the system offers competitive benefits packages including flexible schedule options and an onsite child development center. UAB Medicine supports employees with career pathway opportunities and professional development and formal education tuition support.


AccuReg (Mobile, Ala.). AccuReg, a software company creating technology solutions to address real problems in the healthcare industry, recruits from a pool of talented individuals who are looking for a career rather than a mere job. Employees use their skill sets to problem solve, address challenges and conflicts productively, and earn results-based raises and promotions. AccuReg associates receive a competitive compensation package that includes extensive industry training, insurance, paid time off, retirement plans and more.


Search the list for companies in your area HERE.

Seven Universities in Alabama Named Best

      U.S. News and World Report has named seven universities in Alabama as best...including one in Montgomery.






And the Best of The Best? Auburn.

You can adjust your search of the USNWR report here: 


Almost Two Dozen State AG's Call Out Hyundai & Kia...

 ....but NOT Alabama A.G. Steve Marshall.

     Hyundai's big plant is in Alabama.

    The ones who did sign the letter want the carmakers to take steps to prevent the big number of thefts of their vehicles:

"Your companies’ decisions not to install anti-theft immobilizers as standard
equipment on certain vehicles sold in the United States has caused ongoing consumer
harm and undermined public safety in communities across the country. It is well past
time that you acknowledge your companies’ role and take swift and comprehensive
action to remedy it."

Mar 20, 2023

Uh, Charles Lee: About The Military Relationship with Montgomery

 Despite the alleged comments made in a secretly recorded conversation several years ago by Montgomery Mayor Steve Reed, the military values the relationship with the city so much that it has named Montgomery one of five "Great American Defense Communities" for 2023:


Montgomery-River Region, Alabama

"The Montgomery-River Region, home to Maxwell Air Force Base, is focused on improving education opportunities and resources for military families and the entire community at-large. Cognizant of the reputation of local schools’ and the impact that has on Airmen’s acceptance of assignments and their continuation on active duty, the River Region and State of Alabama committed to partnering with Air University to establish the Maxwell-River Region Partnership for Educational Excellence, which focuses on improving the quality of education available to all families.

In addition to the River Region’s dedication to education, in 2021 the state of Alabama launched the Mentorship-Hub to provide additional support services to military spouses. The Alabama Mentorship-Hub is a first-in-nation statewide virtual network of military spouses, mentors, and advocates to bring 24/7 peer-to-peer mentorship to Active, Guard and Reserve military spouses already living in or moving to the state. Mentors who volunteer in the HUB are trained military spouses who share indispensable, first-hand information related to life in Alabama, its military installations and its defense communities which nurtures an important sense of community and belonging."

SCOTUS Rules Against Alabama Preacher

 From Reuters:

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a traveling Christian evangelist's free-speech challenge to a University of Alabama requirement that he obtain a permit before handing out religious pamphlets and preaching from a sidewalk adjacent to its campus.

The justices turned away an appeal by preacher Rodney Keister of a lower court's ruling rejecting his claim that the university's permit requirement violated free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

Keister, founder of a Pennsylvania-based group called Evangelism Mission, regularly visits U.S. university campuses in hopes of spreading his Christian message to students, according to court filings.


FULL Story in U.S. News & World Report via Reuters

Alabama As a Work State


 12th best state for Physicians...

...but 33rd for "medical environment"(according to Wallet Hub)


See the full list with all states' data HERE.

Mar 19, 2023

Montgomery's Meta Ellis is named a "USA Today Woman of The Year"

 Meta Ellis is one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year, a recognition of women who have made a significant impact in their communities and across the country. The program launched in 2022 as a continuation of Women of the Century, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. Meet this year’s honorees at

See the US Today story HERE

Meta outside her parents' Montgomery Home.

Another FTR Former Guest Has passed.

 Post-Herald reporter and editor Karl Seitz has is reported on Facebook by his family:

Pat and Lee are sad to announce Karl passed away yesterday morning, 3/18/2023. We are most grateful for the thoughts, prayers, help, and offers of help we have received in the past month during his fast decline. An obituary and announcement of a memorial service will come in the next few days. In the meantime, in lieu of flowers — because of Pat’s allergies and there being no graveside — please donate in Karl’s name to Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM ( or Alabama Public Television (
More about Karl's life is HERE

RN Salaries

 Alabama: has the second lowest hourly rate in the U.S.



Hourly: $29.77 

Annual wage: $61,920 

Median annual household income: $53,913


Only lower rate state is South Dakota

South Dakota

Hourly: $29.11

Annual wage: $60,540

Median annual household income: $66,143

Compare your state HERE.


If only.....

 ...I had looked at this photo I took before I befriended this that wandered into the back yard and readily came over for petting!

Maybe he/she is just camera shy?



Within 24 hours I was nursing a scratched arm and telling the devil cat to get lost.



I must be losing my touch! We had adopted strays several times over the years without incident, and without bloodshed!


Another New Yorker who Came...and stayed.

A view from my NYC Hood.


The Huffington Post has posted a column by a women from New York who now lives in Alabama.

She's been here for several years.

I got here first...several decades ahead of her arrival. But the column echoes some of the same experiences that have kept me here all of these years, after I left NYC in 1976.

"Almost no one I knew had ever visited Alabama, and most seemed to think that the state was populated by illiterate Trump supporters who didn’t wear shoes. The grace that well-meaning liberals offered the Midwest did not extend to a state whose reputation had been solidified during the civil rights movement. Most people I spoke with still associated Alabama with Gov. George Wallace’s proclamation of “segregation forever” and Bull Connor’s assault on peaceful protesters with dogs and fire hoses."


Read Ellen Gomory's full column HERE.

Changing a Capital lightbulb....

One of the fixtures that lowers.


...takes two state employees, at least to light the chandeliers!

One to flip the switch that lowers the chandelier to the ground, and another person on ground level to alert the first person to stop the decent. Then they can change burnt-out bulbs and/or clean the glass.

This fixture at the front stairs lowers almost three stories.

It wasn't always that easy.

The fixtures replaced the original oil lamps in the 1951 Alabama Capitol Building with which workers had to climb ladders to light the wicks.  

Come for a tour of the Capitol! I'm one of the state employees who work there there to lead tours. 

More information HERE

Mar 18, 2023

Almost half of Alabama's population is having trouble paying bills


There's only one state with a higher percentage of the population in that situation....Mississippi, where the figure is 52.9%.

CBS has the story

Some Americans are struggling more than others, with a greater share of hardship reported in many Southern states, the census data shows. Incomes tend to be lower in those regions, with many workers still earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour — an hourly rate that hasn't budged since 2009."

Prison Press


These are tough times for newspapers...yet there is one category showing at least a small increase:

"By our count in February 2023, there were 24 operational, prisoner-run news publications at work across 12 states."

None are located in Alabama according to the accounting by the The Prison Newspaper Project

That's a far cry from the high point of newspapers behind bars, reports the project website:

"The first study on prison newspapers in 1935 found that there were at least 100 prison publications and nearly half of all U.S. correctional facilities published one. That number peaked at 250 publications in 1959 and then took a nosedive in the following decades.

(Full story is HERE.)

Florida Erases Rosa Parks Race

 DeSantis version of Alabama History:

Original version of Alabama History:

Source: N.Y. Times Letter to Editor

Mar 16, 2023

Some Alabama National Guard Units Are Losing Their Confederate flags

 From a story at

Transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

"At least 48 units from mostly southern National Guard units have been directed to remove Confederate battle streamers from their units' guidons, which serve as ceremonial flags often held by a soldier in a formation. Streamers hang on top of a unit's flag and are awarded for participating in wars or specific battles ranging from the colonial era to the Global War on Terrorism. In total, there are 491 streamers set to be removed.

Here are the units that are being directed to remove Confederate battle streamers:

Alabama Army National Guard: 44 streamers from 4 units.

  1. HHD, 31st Chemical Brigade (Tuscaloosa, AL): 10.
  2. HHD, 161st Medical Battalion (Mobile, AL): 11.
  3. 167th Infantry Regiment (Talladega, AL): 13.
  4. 711th Support Battalion (Mobile, AL): 10"

Mar 14, 2023

War with China? Prepare to sink their ships.

 From a story:

While U.S. officials continue to prioritize deterring China from trying to invade Taiwan -- "we would encourage the Chinese not to attempt to take that island by force" -- the question remains what to do if deterrence doesn't work, (Gen. Kenneth) Wilsbach, (commander of Pacific Air Forces) said.

The first order of business?

"We've got to sink the ships," Wilsbach said. "Sinking ships is a main objective of not only PACAF [Pacific Air Forces] but really anyone that's going to be involved in a conflict like this."


Full story is HERE.

Kicking Them While They're Down (Updated)

 It's newspapers I'm talking about.

When the papers lost their income producing classified ads it nearly killed them. Blame websites like Craig's List, which took the classified ad revenue away from newspapers.

But they still had cash flow via the ads required by law...i.e....the "legal" ads. Now legislation is being considered allowing governments to post those ads on their own websites, eliminating the cost of the newspaper ads, and eliminating the money gained by the papers.

     The Montgomery Advertiser, which clearly has a huge dog in this fight, has the story this morning, including this:

"Supporters of newspaper notices also say eliminating it overlooks the sizeable population of people who don’t have reliable internet access at home. According to BroadbandNow, 89.8% of Alabamians don’t have access to wired or fixed wireless broadband."

But wait a minute! 

Look at the BroadbandNow website and read what it reports about the percentage of Alabama residents who DO have broadband access:

Access to Wired or Fixed Wireless Broadband: 89.8%.

In other words, the Advertiser's story says the exact opposite of what the BroadbandNow site reports. 

The paper's story should read "89.9% of Alabamians DO have access to wired or fixed wireless broadband." 

Update in the Montgomery Advertiser (You're welcome!):

This story was updated at 11:35 a.m. March 14 to correct an error regarding the percentage of people lacking broadband access in Alabama.

Mar 13, 2023

Were 7th !!!!!!!

 ...poorest State in America, that is.

Here's the story with the rundown from the A-Z Animals website (Yea...what does that have to do with poverty?) listing the ten poorest states in the U.S. Two of the top ten have borders with Alabama.

And speaking of borders...which states have the longest coastlines?

States with Longest Coastlines

RankStateBodies of WaterMiles—General Coastline
1. Alaska Pacific/Arctic 6,640
2. Florida Atlantic/Gulf 1,350
3. California Pacific 840
4. Hawaii Pacific 750
5. Louisiana Gulf 397
6. Texas Gulf 367
7. North Carolina Atlantic 301
8. Oregon Pacific 296
9. Maine Atlantic 228
10. Massachusetts Atlantic 192
Source: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service.

 Yet another website shows Alabama having 607 miles of coastline...which would rank us 5th in the above list. Hmmmm.

100 places of valor

(From The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 "Montgomery (Oakwood) Cemetery Annexe contains 78 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, all airmen who died while training in Alabama under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. There are also 20 French war graves in the cemetery and two non-war burials."

                    That's exactly 100 graves.




 NATO Review - The consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine for  international security – NATO and beyond

 NY Times reporting this morning!

Reporting from Paris.

The International Criminal Court intends to open two war crimes cases tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and will seek arrest warrants for several people, according to current and former officials with knowledge of the decision who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The cases represent the first international charges to be brought forward since the start of the conflict and come after months of work by special investigation teams. They allege that Russia abducted Ukrainian children and teenagers and sent them to Russian re-education camps, and that the Kremlin deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure

Mar 12, 2023


 Hey. I am more Irish than probably the majority of Montgomery residents....I have dual citizenship, after all, and I do NOT watch this NBC program, and reading the descriptions of their mocking "jokes" in their final show before St. Patrick's Day reinforces my decision not to be part of their audience!





Speaking of the holiday, let's spend the week referring to Alabama Counties they way they do there.

County Montgomery.

County Shelby. get the idea...😏💚

Giving Alabama An Irish Flavor


From now on---in honor of St. Patrick's Day---I'm calling Alabama Counties the way my kin in Ireland refer to theirs:

County Montgomery, County Shelby, and some, like County Connecuh, offer a nice alliteration too.

Mar 10, 2023

Handling It with Gloves


    At least twice in recent weeks I have seen on TV someone handling an ancient book with bare hands, and both times I mentally chastised them for not wearing the cotton gloves I had become accustomed to when doing stories involving old books and documents.

Now, as the New York Times reports, the glove requirement is no more...and many never even have been:

“The best way to handle a rare book,” said Mark Dimunation, the longtime head of the rare books and special collections division at the Library of Congress, “is with clean hands and caution.”